HP: Best and Worst Laptop Brands of 2014

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HP finished in a solid fourth place in our report — the same position it earned in 2013. The brand fared well in the innovation category (thanks to welcome experimentation with motion control, touchpad design and hybrids), and we also continue to like HP’s design, keyboard comfort, and overall value and selection. Tech support could be better — especially on the phone — but overall, this is a brand you can trust.

Reviews (15/20)

HP turned in a slightly better performance than it did last year, with five of its notebooks earning a 4-star rating, five getting a 3.5-star rating and three receiving a 3-star rating. The high-end Spectre 13t — which has an innovative touchpad — and the bang-for-your-buck Pavilion G6z were two systems that received Editors’ Choice awards.

MORE: 5 Best HP Laptops

Tech Support (15/20)

HP has a well-designed website that makes it easy to find answers to common questions, and the company has been improving its social media tech support, though it still doesn’t offer live chat. However, these improvements barely managed to offset HP’s disastrous phone-support score. We were transferred between multiple representatives each time, who all had difficulty with our fairly basic questions. One rep tried to sell us an unnecessary HP support package.

MORE: HP: Tech Support Showdown Rating

Design (12/15)


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HP deserves praise for creating the best-looking Chromebooks of the year. The Pavilion 14 Chromebook used glittery plastic to lend the notebook an air of sophistication at a low price, and the Chromebook 11 added a pop of color to a gleaming white chassis. The HP Spectre 13t impressed with its stylish, truffle-brown exterior and Control Zone touchpad. However, a couple of less-imaginative MacBook clones, such as the Envy TouchSmart 15, relegated HP to fourth place. The company also needs to find a way to trim the fat; the Elitebook 2750p lives on the bulkier end of the spectrum.

Keyboards & Touchpads (13/15)

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Hewlett Packard offers consistently comfy, flex-free keyboards on both its business and consumer laptops. The company’s touchpads provided accurate, jitter-free navigation on all of the systems we tested. HP’s Elitebook line of business laptops even offer dedicated mouse buttons, which provide the best clicking experience. However, the Elitebook pointing sticks are uncomfortable because of their concave surfaces.

Display & Audio (8/10)

From consumer Ultrabooks like the HP Spectre 13 to the business-focused ZBook 15, HP has upped its audio-visual game. As a result, the company boosted its score by two points to tie for first in this category. While most of HP’s panels delivered rich color and wide viewing angles, the average brightness of 219 lux recorded on the systems we tested is well below the 242-lux laptop category average. 

Sound consistently impressed across the board. Even budget models, such as the sub-$500 Pavilion G6z-2200, have front-mounted speakers capable of blaring full-bodied tunes. On average, the HP notebooks we reviewed in 2013 pumped out sound at 84 decibels, which is just slightly below the laptop category average (85 dB). HP also includes Beats Audio on several of its laptops, which enriches bass and overall sound.

Innovation (8/10)

After a lackluster showing in last year’s Innovation category, HP jumped all the way to the No. 2 spot. The boost came as a result of groundbreaking notebooks like the Envy 17, which includes a built-in 3D controller, courtesy of Leap Motion. The company also rolled out its slick Spectre 13 Ultrabook, which features a unique Control Zone touchpad that makes Windows 8 gestures more intuitive.

MORE: Top 10 Ultrabooks

Value & Selection (4/5)

There is a wide selection of HP laptops on the company’s website, and a large range of retailers also sell HP systems. Thanks to a wide variety of price points — from the $479 Pavilion 14z TouchSmart to the $954 Elitebook 850 G1 business notebook — HP earned a second-place spot in this category. The company also offers a Windows 7 option on most of its notebooks, so you can get an up-to-date device with the comfort of a familiar operating system. A colorful line of Chromebooks expands the budget end of HP’s already-wide range of products.

Software (3/5)

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HP’s software suite isn’t quite as impressive as it was last year. Recent HP flagships, like the Envy TouchSmart 15, pack HP Connected Photo and Connected Music, which allow you to easily organize your multimedia content. The HP Savings Center is an online coupon book, and there’s an unnecessary HP Games hub for sampling already-free games like “Plants vs. Zombies.” HP’s SimplePass software offers extra security with a fingerprint reader, and you can register all 10 of your fingers for logging in to Windows and websites.

Best and Worst Laptop Brands 2014

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  1. nagarajan Says:

    i purchased hp new laptop in show room with original bill but hp company very worst company they are not providing original software. Very worst cheating company like road side shop. i have original bills but they are not provide at least antivirus production software. My contact no.8807622804. i was cheated i will prove you if you give chance.

  2. NATHANIEL KWESI APPIAH ESHUN Says:

    LAPTOP PRICES AND SHIPPING ARRANGEMENTS TO GHANA, WEST AFRICA.

  3. Senthil Says:

    I purchased new HP Laptop this year and it is worth for the amount.. they had lot of varieties and i picked based on my requirement.. i did’t go for fast ram and still the performance is very fast.. overall i am satisfied with the product

  4. Ashvini Sharma Says:

    I purchasd my laptop hp pavillion by an authorised dealer next day i found the keys are popup dealer and service center not change it just hving one day 2 buy hp dealers also cheats thet provide defected piece

  5. sarvesh Says:

    very bad service and laptop

  6. neha Says:

    i don’t think hp is really good . i face prop 3 times in hp g6 lap top worth 40 k with in 1.5 yr n now cc executives are also ignoring me . i face twice display issue hard disk which is already pirated from very first end and now physical body issue mine lap top has been opened because of prob every time i gives me a heart break because i love my gadgets a lot .i feel like hating hp.:((((((((((

  7. Maximiliano Says:

    I’m in the laptop repair business and I NEVER EVER recommend HP laptops to my customers. Failures everywhere, GPU problems rendering the computer unusable, bad thermal disipation, batteries die after 2 years or so, and the charging and dc oulet chips are very delicate. It seems that computer manufacturers don’t want us to use their laptops for more than a year and a half… And I am not talking about the cheaper laptops, high end ones experience the same kind of nasty issues. Don’t buy HP. Don’t Buy Compaq.

    Maximiliano.

  8. saxon901 Says:

    Bypass the bureaucrats and go straight to the recommended service centre in your area. They are as frustrated with these in-house wallies as the rest of us. I have nothing but praise for the Perth WA serviceman, he fought them on my behalf when they insisted I needed a replacement transformer when the problem was a hardware failure. As my DV6 was still under warranty I got free courier door to door pick-up and return. On that basis I would mark them higher. In-house will respond promptly to requests for approved local service centres. Regards

  9. Deepak Tanwar Says:

    i have purchased HP 250Core i3 new laptop from show room but hp company is very worst company. After 10days my laptop was not working and i have given this to service center and after 20days i have not received any response yet.Very worst customer services provided by HP company like road side shop. they are not provide at least satisfactory answer about laptop. My contact no.9799394210.

  10. laptop computers Says:

    Step 4: After selecdt the drive tha the CDis in at start menu,
    do as the following instructions. The price off these laptops has also become surprisingly low.
    Other features such as integrated webcam, fingerprint, cardreader, aand exterior
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  11. lenovo is better Says:

    Bought an HP for college, best specs for the price. When the screen broke due to a faulty cover they refused to fix it, even under warranty. About 10 other things eventually broke. Paid the laptop’s worth in repairs.

  12. Santhosh Says:

    It is by far the least performing of all laptops i have seen and known for ever. With my laptop, less than a year old, Audio has stopped working, browser crashes all the time.
    I would suggest to go for any other laptop but HP

  13. Debbie Hausman Says:

    I purchased a HP as my very first computer of any kind.It was a Laptop and within the first month i was sending it in to be fixed for over-heating. after several times of doing this they replaced it with different and newer model, which had problems within 2 weeks! i had bought the extended warrenty , but then one of the representatives tried to cheat me out of the time saying different models had different warrenty’s . after i contacted corporate office because that rep. never returned my calls i requested a different customer service rep she took care of me great till maternety leave, they spent more time with my laptop then i did and the problems were never fixed right always came back within 1 to 2 weeks. second computer was suppose to have double the distance from router but kept disconnecting!finally saw that it was doing constant charging think thats why mother board fried right after warrenty stopped. will never buy a HP product again ! was very suprised by the rating you gave it??? maybe you should use the products for more than a day or 2 before you rate them, like a real customer ! then send one in for repairs and see how well they did before you rate that part too!! thank Sincerely a Permanent Non-HP User for Life, Debbie

  14. ari Says:

    Dont buy hp !! had two laptops Dv series, same problems faulty motherboards bad cooling causing overheating, bluescreens blackscreens, freezing. Serviced the first one three times thankfully within the 1 year warranty got a refund bought a desktop pc hp also.. it still works hp mseries elite from 2008. Needed a laptop for school bought the dv6 3133eo, blackscreens heating serviced it twice they replaced everything inside motherboard cpu harddrive speakers. After the second service it worked for 6 months then it broke down again it wont boot up gets hot and blackscreen, Out of warranty says hp. So i got the Macbook pro instead and hp lost another customer……

  15. Sam Says:

    If you’re considering an HP, run in the other direction and never look back. Worst laptop I have ever owned. Had hardware and software problems from day 1. Was calling tech support at least once a week for months on end. When I shipped my computer out to them to replace the internal battery (which crapped out after 5 months), they charged me for damage done while shipping. They fixed the scrapes that travel had caused and shipped it back to me. They had somehow “forgot” to replace the internal battery. Worst service ever. Never again will I buy from HP.

  16. Amanda Blanton Says:

    Purchased an HP lap top 1-25-13 as of Oct 2014 it’s dead. Paid $812.50. Tried calling HP support and got a person that doesn’t speak English very well, we couldn’t understand him and he wouldn’t get someone else to assist us. HP support wouldn’t even give us advise without paying first $60+. We will not be purchasing an HP product again. Very disappointed customer, with HP and HP support. Do not waste your money on an HP product. And don’t waste your time trying to call HP support.

  17. suzeq palmer Says:

    From australia.
    Up to my 3rd HP happy with service here

    WHY IS LIFE SO UNKIND?
    Rainbow

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